Saturday 13th September, 2014. Another day I will never forget. This time though the event was one of joy and positive emotions. It was the launch of my first publication, From Lion to Lamb, A Spiritual Journey. Those of you who have read my previous blogs will know about the origin of and inspiration for the book.
The day began quite early and without the usual frenzied pace – all systems had been put in place. That said I have to admit it grew progressively more hectic. My dogs had to be fed at my home before returning to my mother’s home to begin packing the refreshment boxes for the afternoon session. By the time I had done all the necessary chores away from home, it was already after ten o’clock in the morning.
Fortunately my mother and I had created a comprehensive checklist and sure enough we had completed all final preparations in the time we had scheduled. We had lunch and were able to shower before the van arrived to transport all our paraphernalia to the church. The launch was being held at the First Church of the Open Bible in San Fernando.
We were at the church by two thirty. One by one the persons taking part in the programme arrived. Soon guests began arriving slowly. The programme began shortly after four pm:
- Opening prayer
- National Anthem
- About the author
- About the book
- First Reading
- Musical Interlude
- Second Reading
- Q & A
- Closing Prayer
My brother Randall introduced Pastor Keith Simmonds who blessed the programme with an opening prayer. This was followed by a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by Carlos Ayers on the steel pan; Carlos is a past student of San Fernando Central Secondary School or as it is familiarly called, Mod Sec. I am currently on extended no pay leave from said school.
Next the host for the afternoon’s proceedings, Mr. Fazeer Rojan, was introduced. Fazeer is a radio announcer and the promotions and marketing manager at 103 FM in Trinidad. He too is a past Mod Sec student and a former form student of mine. He did a superb job all afternoon. He was reflective, professional and thoughtful.
Mrs Anna Singh was the first speaker. She spoke about me. Oh yes it was my afternoon after all. I was so touched by her words. Was it really me she was talking about? She captured the persona of the lion so effectively and had known me sufficiently well and long enough to have witnessed the shift to the lamb. Oh, how could I forget to mention that Mrs Singh is a former teacher at Mod Sec.
I spoke next and chose to direct my speech about the process of writing the book to its publication. However in light of the highly complimentary comments made by both Mrs Singh and Fazeer, I had to digress a bit.
The next speaker was another Mod Sec past student, Miss Ayoka Bonas. Her reading was emotive and personalized the shooting incident for all who listened. She was followed by Miss Amy Lalchan, who played a piece entitled “Healer” on the violin. Amy is a current advanced level student at Mod Sec. Her piece was flawlessly performed.
After this relaxing interlude, the esteemed Mr. Philip G. Rochford spoke about the book. He was able to highlight the universality of the lessons being addressed in the book; lessons such as love, peace and forgiveness.
The second reading was done by Fazeer. His selection was one which was written to reveal to readers the depth and dimensions of emotions of the author at the time of the incident. Neal Lalgee, one of our local celebrities, was the next performer. He did two soul-stirring pieces: You raised me up and the righteous shall never be persecuted.
Questions from the audience were solicited and there were four takers. The first wanted to find out about when I first accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. The second asked if there were any other books to be expected in the short term. The third asked a question about the location of the scene on the book’s cover. The final question was designed to reveal to the audience that I had been working with a group of Chemistry teachers before the incident and that we had been preparing a Chemistry book. The person asking wanted to find out when I would be ready to resume work on that project.
The closing prayer was said by another past student of Mod Sec, Mr. Shazim Mohammed. He was dynamic and inspirational.
The afternoon ended with a book signing and refreshments. It was such a lovely evening that we did not leave until after half past eight. This was my first ever book launch. It was quite a memorable experience. I have used a video compiled by a family friend to help capture the moments at the beginning of this post. Another professional video is pending.
Have you ever attended a book launch? What was most outstanding at that launch? I look forward to hearing from you.